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Introduction to Logging

The Basics

  • Logging consists of two simple elements: log events and log targets. For example, a family’s signature on a guest role at a wedding, or a security guard’s notes in his notebook.
  • In software, logging is primarily used for troubleshooting/debugging and auditing purposes.
  • A logging framework is responsible for providing a structured way to get log events into log targets.

Log Events

  • Log events are messages or objects to be delivered to a log target (the family’s signature or the security guard’s note)
  • Log events contain information about an event that happened
  • A log event can be a simple message like “Hello, World!”, or a complex multilevel object that represents a web request

Log Targets

  • Log targets receive or store log events
  • A log target can display a log event immediately, such as in a terminal window, or store the log event to persistent storage, such as in a file or database
  • Log targets can also interface web services or email clients, delivering the log event to an external destination
  • A single log target is generally responsible for a single destination. For example, a single “Text File Target” would write to a single file
  • A single application will likely have multiple targets